NSTA: 135 terabytes of UK energy security information uploaded to National Data Repository

World Oil Staff August 02, 2023

(WO) – One hundred and thirty-five terabytes (TB) of data containing information vital for supporting UK energy security as well as enabling the energy transition to renewables has been uploaded to the National Data Repository (NDR) this year.

This year’s uploads contribute to the site’s total 430TB+ of data in the public domain, with a further 100TB uploaded, to be released as soon as confidentiality periods allow.

The surge in data uploads – much of it seismic surveys which provide irreplaceable information which can be used to explore for hydrocarbons or find suitable locations for carbon storage and offshore wind - has been enabled by the NSTA setting-up a self-service workflow system taking the time and expense out of the process.

This year’s uploads include significant published seismic data coverage of the East Irish Sea, particularly around the North and South Morecambe fields, and processed 3D data sets from recent surveys over the Mid-North Sea High and Central North Sea that are eligible for release in 2024.

A single terabyte of data is equivalent to around 250 films or 17,000 hours of music, so a great deal of information that would otherwise be lost or inaccessible is available to all.

Seismic surveys shot since 2018 must be uploaded to the NDR as a matter of course, but most data acquired in the decades preceding that have been stored by the licensees for many years.

Licensees often archived this data on magnetic tape – which they stored and, when necessary, remastered - a process which was expensive and meant that the information was not available to other users.

The NSTA requires seismic data to be reported at an event such as a change of interests in a license, or when another NDR user requests access to historic data to inform decision-making on a live project.

In 2021, the new system was set up whereby licensees can upload the data themselves without going through a third party who would charge a fee – therefore saving the licensee that fee, and also saving them from the expense of preserving the data themselves ‘in perpetuity’.

In addition to helping the licensees, it also helps the explorers, producers and academics who want the data as it becomes freely and immediately available without the need to wait.

Andy Thompson, NSTA NDR Manager, said, “We are pleased that licensees have responded well to our call to report old seismic data. Due to its age, we can publish this data immediately, making it available for industry and academia to use in decision-making.

“However, there is still further to go with many thousands of terabytes of data in company archives, that could, and should, be reported. This data can play a vital role in accelerating the energy transition. We encourage companies to dig into their archives and report this data as a national asset.” 

John Seabourn, NSTA Chief Digital and Information Officer, said,  “While it is encouraging to see industry routinely reporting data, there is still some way to go with reporting of legacy data to create a complete, accurate and accessible collection to support energy security and net zero. We’ll continue to be robust in our use of powers to ensure data is retained, reported and disclosed.”

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